This morning’s hike was brought to you by the letters U and P, and the number 2,200. After that things got nicer. Great views across the valley and my fingers were coming back to life. The ridge didn’t last nearly long enough and soon we were switchbacking down to Waptus River.
The river was sparkling and clear and after 14 miles of steep up and down it was time for lunch. I was the first of five (The Noodleheads and the two Joes) to arrive and the last to leave. I think I need to do that more often. From there we faced more up hill, to make tomorrow easier. Not far from the bridge I met two section hikers with camp chairs attached to their packs. Scantily clad, we later gave them trail names of Boobalicious and Nut-Hammock. If I get a copy of the photo that Samurai Joe took I’ll send it home asap.
Onward and upward until reaching Deep Lake. It was just what I’d been hoping for. Deep enough to dive into and rocks to dry on. We all arrived before 5 and didn’t have long before we lost the sun so our dips were swift and chilling. Sitting there afterwards starting to recover from the cold as the water evaporated made for one of the best moments on the trail. Lucky Joe, Samurai Joe and I all sitting on one sunny rock, we could have been at the beach not halfway up a mountain in Washington. The Noodleheads were discretely around the corner, they would have been at a different sort of beach.
I don’t know Samurai Joe very well but he certainly feels like one of our team now.